STEM Splitter?

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MechE603

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STEM Splitter?

Postby MechE603 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:32 pm

Hey all, I'm trying to get a feel for what I should be expecting out of my admission cycle. I've ran through all of the myLSN numbers, the LSAC percentages, and the LSP calculator many times but being an applicant that hasnt been on the normal prelaw/legal internship/etc track I'm still curious. I'm coming straight from undergrad at a top 50 private university where I studied Mechanical Engineering (STEM obviously) with a minor in Business Law and will be applying with a ~3.4 GPA. I'm involved in a few extracurriculars mostly engineering based but also including debate and a couple other more broad clubs to come to a total of 5 clubs. I'm an e-board member in 3 of the clubs and was a co-founder in 2 of them. Also I've had 2 summers of engineering internship experience and a few intercollegiate projects/competitions. My letters of rec should be above average, one from a professor who I've grown close with who is decently respected in the geographical area where I'll be applying, and the other is a professor who I've had a few classes with and she holds a PhD from/taught at (both in mechanical engineering) one of the schools I'm applying to. My LSAT first take was a 170, which was 5 points below my average practice test score, but I will be retaking in September. I'd really like Columbia, NYU, Penn, Berkeley, or Harvard/Stanford but I know the last two will be a reach no matter what. Thank you all for your input in advance.

(Edit: changed the word atypical because I used it in a literal sense and not in a "I already graduated and have been working for x years" sense)
Last edited by MechE603 on Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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lymenheimer

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby lymenheimer » Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:37 pm

MechE603 wrote:atypical applicant

I don't think this phrase means what you think it means.

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby joeyc328 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:46 pm

What type of law do you want to practice? If you want to do strictly patent prosecution there should be a couple more variable to consider. For example Duke, Berkeley, and George Washington (for free) likely become more appealing. If you want to do patent prosecution you will likely have a full time job after your first year from one of these schools, if not you should simply just go for the highest ranked school. As an aside I recommend studying for the patent bar after your September LSAT.

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby joeyc328 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:46 pm

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MechE603

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby MechE603 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:02 pm

lymenheimer wrote:
MechE603 wrote:atypical applicant

I don't think this phrase means what you think it means.


If you consider that equal to a nontraditional applicant then I'm not that, I've personally never seen atypical be used like that. Less than 10 percent of applicants are STEM based and from what I've seen most of them come from work experience, which is why I said atypical. Mylsn data doesn't feel like it represents me as much as it likely does for those reasons

grades??

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby grades?? » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:04 pm

MechE603 wrote:
lymenheimer wrote:
MechE603 wrote:atypical applicant

I don't think this phrase means what you think it means.


If you consider that equal to a nontraditional applicant then I'm not that, I've personally never seen atypical be used like that. Less than 10 percent of applicants are STEM based and from what I've seen most of them come from work experience, which is why I said atypical. Mylsn data doesn't feel like it represents me as much as it likely does for those reasons


You are not atypical. You will do worse on admissions then if you had work experience. You will do exactly as your numbers suggest.

A 3.4 with a 170 will get you into GT, Cornell, maybe UVA & Duke without much money. Michigan/Northwestern $ is a crapshoot. Anything higher and you are out of the running.
Last edited by grades?? on Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MechE603

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby MechE603 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:05 pm

joeyc328 wrote:What type of law do you want to practice? If you want to do strictly patent prosecution there should be a couple more variable to consider. For example Duke, Berkeley, and George Washington (for free) likely become more appealing. If you want to do patent prosecution you will likely have a full time job after your first year from one of these schools, if not you should simply just go for the highest ranked school. As an aside I recommend studying for the patent bar after your September LSAT.


I would like patent law, and that was my initial goal actually, but there are a couple other things that I think I would enjoy as well so I was going to apply to most of the top 14 schools, and then BU, UCLA, USC, maybe GW and WUSTL

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby MechE603 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:14 pm

grades?? wrote:
MechE603 wrote:
lymenheimer wrote:
MechE603 wrote:atypical applicant

I don't think this phrase means what you think it means.


If you consider that equal to a nontraditional applicant then I'm not that, I've personally never seen atypical be used like that. Less than 10 percent of applicants are STEM based and from what I've seen most of them come from work experience, which is why I said atypical. Mylsn data doesn't feel like it represents me as much as it likely does for those reasons


You are not atypical. You will do worse on admissions then if you had work experience. You will do exactly as your numbers suggest.

A 3.4 with a 170 will get you into GT, Cornell, maybe UVA & Duke without much money. Michigan/Northwestern $ is a crapshoot. Anything higher and you are out of the running.


Yeah I'm retaking in September because I was really disappointed with the 170, I felt like I had done much better than that. Obviously graduating and then having work experience would be easier for admission I have just been bombarded with different opinions from all over the place about rigor of major in the application process, and mylsn has very few users that I can use as proof of one view over the other.

grades??

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby grades?? » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:18 pm

MechE603 wrote:
grades?? wrote:
MechE603 wrote:
lymenheimer wrote:
MechE603 wrote:atypical applicant

I don't think this phrase means what you think it means.


If you consider that equal to a nontraditional applicant then I'm not that, I've personally never seen atypical be used like that. Less than 10 percent of applicants are STEM based and from what I've seen most of them come from work experience, which is why I said atypical. Mylsn data doesn't feel like it represents me as much as it likely does for those reasons


You are not atypical. You will do worse on admissions then if you had work experience. You will do exactly as your numbers suggest.

A 3.4 with a 170 will get you into GT, Cornell, maybe UVA & Duke without much money. Michigan/Northwestern $ is a crapshoot. Anything higher and you are out of the running.


Yeah I'm retaking in September because I was really disappointed with the 170, I felt like I had done much better than that. Obviously graduating and then having work experience would be easier for admission I have just been bombarded with different opinions from all over the place about rigor of major in the application process, and mylsn has very few users that I can use as proof of one view over the other.


The rigor of your major literally means nothing in admissions. Literally nothing. Schools say oh well sure STEM degrees get more consideration but the data shows time and time again they will take a 3.6 170 waterskiing major over a 3.4 170 biomedical engineering major. Sorry but thats how it is.

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby MechE603 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:27 pm

grades?? wrote:
MechE603 wrote:
grades?? wrote:
MechE603 wrote:
lymenheimer wrote:
MechE603 wrote:atypical applicant

I don't think this phrase means what you think it means.


If you consider that equal to a nontraditional applicant then I'm not that, I've personally never seen atypical be used like that. Less than 10 percent of applicants are STEM based and from what I've seen most of them come from work experience, which is why I said atypical. Mylsn data doesn't feel like it represents me as much as it likely does for those reasons


You are not atypical. You will do worse on admissions then if you had work experience. You will do exactly as your numbers suggest.

A 3.4 with a 170 will get you into GT, Cornell, maybe UVA & Duke without much money. Michigan/Northwestern $ is a crapshoot. Anything higher and you are out of the running.


Yeah I'm retaking in September because I was really disappointed with the 170, I felt like I had done much better than that. Obviously graduating and then having work experience would be easier for admission I have just been bombarded with different opinions from all over the place about rigor of major in the application process, and mylsn has very few users that I can use as proof of one view over the other.


The rigor of your major literally means nothing in admissions. Literally nothing. Schools say oh well sure STEM degrees get more consideration but the data shows time and time again they will take a 3.6 170 waterskiing major over a 3.4 170 biomedical engineering major. Sorry but thats how it is.


Waterskiing would be a pretty fun major to have

grades??

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby grades?? » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:30 pm

I agree with you OP, waterskiing would have been more fun. The reason it works like this is because the law schools are so obsessed with rankings and it is a numbers game. A 3.6>3.4 every time, regardless of major because they have to report the numbers, not the majors or difficulty of the major.

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KissMyAxe

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby KissMyAxe » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:55 pm

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grades??

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby grades?? » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:59 pm

KissMyAxe wrote:
grades?? wrote:I agree with you OP, waterskiing would have been more fun. The reason it works like this is because the law schools are so obsessed with rankings and it is a numbers game. A 3.6>3.4 every time, regardless of major because they have to report the numbers, not the majors or difficulty of the major.


Yep, although another reason is that there is also an argument that there is no "difficult" major, because there can be such variation in difficulty from school to school, department to department, and even professor to professor. There are many students who strategically take professors just because it says they give a ton of A's on rate my professor. Someone could easily be a chemical engineer and using that website, end up having a much easier schedule than a sociology major who took challenging classes. There's too much variation, and because admissions officers can't spend that much time on an application trying to figure out their schedule's rigor, they just make the LSAC GPA standardized and let the LSAT be the great equalizer.

OP, if you retake and get around 175, you'll be in for a great cycle. You have very low odds at Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley (they are GPA whores), but you should get into most of the T14 (though you need to write a why statement for Penn).


I agree 100% with this as well- with the point of making clear that a 170 is not really gonna cut it right now. A 175 will get you into most of the t14, not 170 really.

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KissMyAxe

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby KissMyAxe » Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:06 pm

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MechE603

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby MechE603 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:08 pm

grades?? wrote:I agree with you OP, waterskiing would have been more fun. The reason it works like this is because the law schools are so obsessed with rankings and it is a numbers game. A 3.6>3.4 every time, regardless of major because they have to report the numbers, not the majors or difficulty of the major.


Yeah I know how important the numbers are for that, my impression was that rigorous majors tend to help bar passage rate and that's why there was a slight bump (equivalent to .05-.1 grade points) but like I said I've heard 100 different things from 100 different sources

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby MechE603 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:10 pm

KissMyAxe wrote:
grades?? wrote:
KissMyAxe wrote:
grades?? wrote:I agree with you OP, waterskiing would have been more fun. The reason it works like this is because the law schools are so obsessed with rankings and it is a numbers game. A 3.6>3.4 every time, regardless of major because they have to report the numbers, not the majors or difficulty of the major.


Yep, although another reason is that there is also an argument that there is no "difficult" major, because there can be such variation in difficulty from school to school, department to department, and even professor to professor. There are many students who strategically take professors just because it says they give a ton of A's on rate my professor. Someone could easily be a chemical engineer and using that website, end up having a much easier schedule than a sociology major who took challenging classes. There's too much variation, and because admissions officers can't spend that much time on an application trying to figure out their schedule's rigor, they just make the LSAC GPA standardized and let the LSAT be the great equalizer.

OP, if you retake and get around 175, you'll be in for a great cycle. You have very low odds at Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley (they are GPA whores), but you should get into most of the T14 (though you need to write a why statement for Penn).


I agree 100% with this as well- with the point of making clear that a 170 is not really gonna cut it right now. A 175 will get you into most of the t14, not 170 really.


Yep, this is true. It looks like Columbia gets a large number of people with your current numbers and waitlist-rejects them all. If you stick with the 3.4/170, you have slightly above a coin's flip chance at UVA, Michigan, Cornell, and GULC, but you'll likely be paying close to sticker, which just isn't worth it. If you were not to improve, I'd start looking at strong regionals (like the George Washington someone stated above) where you can receive sizable scholarships.


I think I should be able to get 175 on my retake, my goal is 178+ but we'll see my confidence going into the home stretch. I think BU is my top choice outside of the t14, and I might actually prefer BU to some of the lower t14s as well, but it's still up in the air

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby MechE603 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:21 pm

Also would it be worth it to throw into my personal statement that my hometown/school district is historically pretty underprivileged? I'm not a URM but I've had my share of family/financial troubles, and my high school has a ~65% graduation rate with ~25% math proficiency and ~55% economically disadvantaged. I know the general rule of thumb is don't mention anything related to high school but it does paint a picture of the environment I come from (small factory town where kids drop out to help support their family and generally don't go to college other than to trade schools)

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby RamTitan » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:49 pm

MechE603 wrote:Also would it be worth it to throw into my personal statement that my hometown/school district is historically pretty underprivileged? I'm not a URM but I've had my share of family/financial troubles, and my high school has a ~65% graduation rate with ~25% math proficiency and ~55% economically disadvantaged. I know the general rule of thumb is don't mention anything related to high school but it does paint a picture of the environment I come from (small factory town where kids drop out to help support their family and generally don't go to college other than to trade schools)

Was your family like that though, or did they own the factories? Pretty big difference

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby MechE603 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:19 pm

RamTitan wrote:
MechE603 wrote:Also would it be worth it to throw into my personal statement that my hometown/school district is historically pretty underprivileged? I'm not a URM but I've had my share of family/financial troubles, and my high school has a ~65% graduation rate with ~25% math proficiency and ~55% economically disadvantaged. I know the general rule of thumb is don't mention anything related to high school but it does paint a picture of the environment I come from (small factory town where kids drop out to help support their family and generally don't go to college other than to trade schools)

Was your family like that though, or did they own the factories? Pretty big difference


My household income has been about ~40k (including now my internship money which goes directly to rent its ~50k) for me my sister my mom and my grandfather, mom and dad split when I was little he got in with a rough crowd and just recently got a job after years of unemployment, but I definitely didn't have it nearly as bad as some people have it

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby RamTitan » Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:34 am

MechE603 wrote:
RamTitan wrote:
MechE603 wrote:Also would it be worth it to throw into my personal statement that my hometown/school district is historically pretty underprivileged? I'm not a URM but I've had my share of family/financial troubles, and my high school has a ~65% graduation rate with ~25% math proficiency and ~55% economically disadvantaged. I know the general rule of thumb is don't mention anything related to high school but it does paint a picture of the environment I come from (small factory town where kids drop out to help support their family and generally don't go to college other than to trade schools)

Was your family like that though, or did they own the factories? Pretty big difference


My household income has been about ~40k (including now my internship money which goes directly to rent its ~50k) for me my sister my mom and my grandfather, mom and dad split when I was little he got in with a rough crowd and just recently got a job after years of unemployment, but I definitely didn't have it nearly as bad as some people have it

There are people here who are more qualified than me to answer this, but I think the possibility of writing a diversity statement exists in this situation. With that said, I also think you could write a personal statement about it and talk about what you plan to do to help your community with a legal education or something.

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby caseysho » Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:13 pm

grades?? wrote:
MechE603 wrote:
grades?? wrote:
MechE603 wrote:
lymenheimer wrote:
MechE603 wrote:atypical applicant

I don't think this phrase means what you think it means.


If you consider that equal to a nontraditional applicant then I'm not that, I've personally never seen atypical be used like that. Less than 10 percent of applicants are STEM based and from what I've seen most of them come from work experience, which is why I said atypical. Mylsn data doesn't feel like it represents me as much as it likely does for those reasons


You are not atypical. You will do worse on admissions then if you had work experience. You will do exactly as your numbers suggest.

A 3.4 with a 170 will get you into GT, Cornell, maybe UVA & Duke without much money. Michigan/Northwestern $ is a crapshoot. Anything higher and you are out of the running.


Yeah I'm retaking in September because I was really disappointed with the 170, I felt like I had done much better than that. Obviously graduating and then having work experience would be easier for admission I have just been bombarded with different opinions from all over the place about rigor of major in the application process, and mylsn has very few users that I can use as proof of one view over the other.


The rigor of your major literally means nothing in admissions. Literally nothing. Schools say oh well sure STEM degrees get more consideration but the data shows time and time again they will take a 3.6 170 waterskiing major over a 3.4 170 biomedical engineering major. Sorry but thats how it is.


While you might not want the position of someone who has been through the admissions process (since you seem to believe you are an admissions counselor yourself) and has had many discussions with administrators and employers regarding STEM majors going to law school, patent bar eligibility is VERY important to admission right now. Last year there were only a little over 1000 patent par eligible students entering law school, and not everyone will take the patent bar or go into patent work. Firms have been urging top schools to expand their IP programs and work on incentivizing more STEM students to go to their law school, or law school in general. Your educational background won't get you into Harvard or Berkley, per say, but you are one of the more marketable applicants right now and the admissions counselors will take notice. I would talk about IP work in your personal statement, whether you want to do it or not.

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Re: STEM Splitter?

Postby grades?? » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:15 pm

caseysho wrote:
grades?? wrote:
MechE603 wrote:
grades?? wrote:
MechE603 wrote:
lymenheimer wrote:
MechE603 wrote:atypical applicant

I don't think this phrase means what you think it means.


If you consider that equal to a nontraditional applicant then I'm not that, I've personally never seen atypical be used like that. Less than 10 percent of applicants are STEM based and from what I've seen most of them come from work experience, which is why I said atypical. Mylsn data doesn't feel like it represents me as much as it likely does for those reasons


You are not atypical. You will do worse on admissions then if you had work experience. You will do exactly as your numbers suggest.

A 3.4 with a 170 will get you into GT, Cornell, maybe UVA & Duke without much money. Michigan/Northwestern $ is a crapshoot. Anything higher and you are out of the running.


Yeah I'm retaking in September because I was really disappointed with the 170, I felt like I had done much better than that. Obviously graduating and then having work experience would be easier for admission I have just been bombarded with different opinions from all over the place about rigor of major in the application process, and mylsn has very few users that I can use as proof of one view over the other.


The rigor of your major literally means nothing in admissions. Literally nothing. Schools say oh well sure STEM degrees get more consideration but the data shows time and time again they will take a 3.6 170 waterskiing major over a 3.4 170 biomedical engineering major. Sorry but thats how it is.


While you might not want the position of someone who has been through the admissions process (since you seem to believe you are an admissions counselor yourself) and has had many discussions with administrators and employers regarding STEM majors going to law school, patent bar eligibility is VERY important to admission right now. Last year there were only a little over 1000 patent par eligible students entering law school, and not everyone will take the patent bar or go into patent work. Firms have been urging top schools to expand their IP programs and work on incentivizing more STEM students to go to their law school, or law school in general. Your educational background won't get you into Harvard or Berkley, per say, but you are one of the more marketable applicants right now and the admissions counselors will take notice. I would talk about IP work in your personal statement, whether you want to do it or not.


That is great and all but the schools don't report patent bar eligibility student numbers separate from other student numbers to US News. So while it might have a marginal impact, the OVERWHELMING evidence and support has been clear- schools value higher scores and numbers over the type/rigor of the degree. It isn't how the world ought to be, but it is how admissions currently is. Sorry to break your little heart.



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